Programming: Scaling the WOD
Posted: 15 November 2005 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  5197
Joined  2004-06-22

At Brand X we scale the WOD for classes up to 35 people, age & condition vary widely.
We now start Crossfitters with four private lessons (at sign up) to get them on the road to understanding the methodology and correct form, etc.
We use the following headers

Big Dogs     WOD as RX’d on the CrossFit site
Per CrossFit- “This workout is meant to crush elite athletes ”
(Usually takes about a year or more of very consistant CrossFitting to get to this level)
Packmembers Same intensity , lower weights, maybe one less round. Some exercises modified - For Instance Big Dogs are performing Ring Dips and Packmembers are performing Bar Dips
Puppies Again, scaled back same intensity, lower weights, most exercises modified , bench dips in the above example.
ButtercupsTwo Basic CrossFit exercises included in the WOD. Used as a couplet. For instance if the WOD were Helen, the Buttercup would perform Running 200M ( not 400M) and squats (From the KB swing) or Body Rows on the rings( Pullups)

Even when exceptional athletes come in- we start them at Buttercup level. ( Unless they have been Crossfitters already) If they are still raring to go we can do some squatting and squat therapy or introduce other skill work. This helps us with the Rhabdo concern by introducing intensity at a slower pace and slowly ramping it up.

Additionally, when appropriate, we post ladies weight for each level in parentheses next to the guys weight.

Scalability for seniors and de=conditioned adults is somewhat similar. The major differences are in flexibility, balance, power and intensity.


“No man who refuses to bear arms in defense of his nation can give a sound reason why he should be allowed to live in a free country”  T. Roosevelt

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.”  Thomas Jefferson”

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Posted: 26 November 2009 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  10146
Joined  2007-01-08

You’ll see that the WOD isn’t always scaled exactly this way any more, but it’s not a bad guide.
Only Garddawg knows exactly what method he uses to scale a particular WOD and mostly it comes down to having done it every day for many years now.

Some notes though.
You’ll sometimes see an additional scaling, “The Pack” and sometimes “Buttercups” is missing.
Sometimes the WOD merits a level between Pack and Big Dawgs, sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes the WOD is such that by the time it’s scaled down to Puppies, offering Buttercups isn’t an option.

If that happens just pick from the levels available.


Craig Massey

“The point of CF is to get better at life.  Being unable to workout tomorrow because you were pigheaded today is not in line with our goals.”
Garddawg - 22 March 2009

“CrossFit is not dangerous.
Bad coaching is dangerous, poor movement is dangerous. Ego is dangerous.
CrossFit, properly scaled to the individual is the safest and most efficient program available for strength, conditioning and movement.”
BlueBugofJustice - 18 August 2009